PROTECTING THE PLACES & LAND YOU LOVE
PROTECTING THE PLACES & LAND YOU LOVE

Press Release Archive

2018

 

Capital Region Land Conservancy Applying for Land Trust Alliance Accreditation: Stakeholder Notification / Public Notice

Date: August 3, 2018

 

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Capital Region Land Conservancy is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

 

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. The process of pursuing accreditation challenges and strengthens a land trust as it scrutinizes and thoroughly documents every aspect of its operations while improving its policies and practices. Land Trust Alliance accreditation assures landowners, supporters, funders, and the land trust's community that it is an organization abiding by the highest standards of excellence.

 

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how  the Capital Region Land Conservancy complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full list of standards see http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/help-and-resources/indicator-practices.

 

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org, or email your comment to:  info@landtrustaccreditation.org.

Comments may also be faxed or mailed to: 

Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments:

(fax) 518-587-3183;

(mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

 

Comments on the Capital Region Land Conservancy's application will be most useful by October 28, 2018. 

Local Land Trust to Expand

River-Focused Conservation

with New Funding

Date: May 29, 2018

 

The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE).  The funding will support the land trust’s efforts to assist the increasing number of landowners interested in pursuing voluntary conservation easements and to expand strategic land conservation along the Richmond region’s rivers to include the Pamunkey River.

 

Earlier this month VEE announced grant awards of $284,612 to 14 organizations dedicated to protecting and improving Virginia’s natural resources and environment.  Since its founding in 1977 the Endowment, combined with matching funds, has provided more than $86 million in environmental improvement support.

 

Demand for CRLC’s services has taken off with the land trust now holding or co-holding 16 conservation easements on 1,957 acres and having facilitated an additional 28 conservation easements with other holders on another 6,347 acres in its ten-locality service area. CRLC Executive Director Parker Agelasto said: “We’ve made great progress recently in the amount of land conserved through easements, yet still just two percent of the Richmond region’s land is protected under permanent conservation easements.  We intend to increase that to five percent. VEE is confidently backing our ability to continue to advance toward that goal.”

 

 A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a private, nonprofit land trust or a government agency; it restricts residential or commercial development of the land in perpetuity while retaining all other rights of ownership including uses such as farming and forestry.  Each conservation easement is as unique as the property it protects, the result of a collaborative process  between the landowner and the land trust or agency.

 

In a region defined by the historic James River and also traversed by the Appomattox and York rivers and their tributaries, CRLC trains its strategic focus on lands adjacent to those waterways.  The benefits of protecting farmland and forests along streams and rivers are as indefinable as fostering a sense of place, and as measurable as protecting water quality.  Improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay depends on increased land conservation in its watershed, with forests doing more to improve the quality of water reaching the bay than any other land type. Conservation easements in river corridors also give historic context to significant landmarks while ensuring that future generations will enjoy the same scenic views that contribute to current residents’ sense of home.

 

The VEE grant will enable CRLC to extend these benefits to the Pamunkey River corridor, the 93-mile tributary of the York River that forms the northern boundaries of Hanover and New Kent counties.  Landowner consultation is the cornerstone of a land trust’s success and CRLC can now invest in this important part of its service area.  “It’s gratifying to know we will be able to move forward with the conservation easement process on complex, time-intensive projects and to respond to new opportunities,” said Jane Myers, CRLC’s Land Conservation Manager. At the same time, CRLC will expand its Conservation Mapping Toolkit to include the Pamunkey River.  Originally a pilot project with the Chesapeake Conservancy, the toolkit helps capture and assess the conservation values of different properties, supporting the documentation process and making it more efficient.

 

CRLC’s commitment to protecting land that in turn protects the region’s waterways is a hallmark of the private nonprofit’s work, perhaps nowhere enjoyed by more regional residents and visitors than within the James River Park System in the City of Richmond.  CRLC co-holds a conservation easement on nearly half of the system’s 600 acres along with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Enrichmond Foundation.  VEE’s $20,000 investment in CRLC’s mission will also support work toward adding 125 acres to the existing conservation easement. 

 

“The Virginia Environmental Endowment is a steadfast partner in high-impact land conservation work throughout the Commonwealth,” said CRLC Board of Directors President Brian Watson, “CRLC is in excellent company in this round of grant recipients and we are honored to be among them.  On behalf of CRLC’s Board of Directors, staff, and members, I extend our gratitude to VEE.”

One Mile of James River and 181 Acres Protected at River's Bend

Date: January 19, 2018

 

The path of the James River takes many twists and turns along its 348-mile journey from the Allegheny Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay yet there is only one place that has come to be named “River’s Bend.”  Several hundred homes in eastern Chesterfield County occupy a neighborhood that shares that same name and River’s Bend Golf Course operated there from 1991 until 2015 when the failing business declared bankruptcy.

 

The 180-acre property, which was formerly the 18-hole golf course, could have been developed into a dense residential subdivision with an additional 100-homes built along the James River. Instead, the property’s owner, Riversbend Land LLC, has protected the wetlands, views, and one mile of shoreline with a conservation easement held by the Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) that also provides for public access. Owner and easement donor Neil Amin remarked, “Finalizing this easement was a great way to end the year.  Having grown up in River’s Bend, I care about the future of this area and am proud to be able to help protect it and share it with the community.”

 

CRLC has been evaluating options for a conservation easement at River’s Bend since 2010. The property sits at the nexus of a wealth of natural, historic, and scenic resources.

 

It adjoins 144 acres of wetlands owned by Virginia Commonwealth University’s River Rice Center and mere two parcels separate it from another 25-acre privately owned property under conservation easement with CRLC since 2005 for its bald eagle habitat. It lies across the river from Chesterfield County’s Dutch Gap Conservation Area, comprised of  810 acres of woods and wetlands. Presquile National Wildlife Refuge and Brown and Williamson Conservation Area are also nearby.  River’s Bend is within the direct viewshed of Henricus Historical Park, a 10-acre public park interpreting the site of the English colony’s second settlement in 1611 and it is adjacent to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, designated by the National Park Service as a water trail that follows the 1607-1609 voyages of Captain John Smith to chart the land and waterways along the James River and Chesapeake Bay.

 

Kirkland Turner, former Director of Planning for Chesterfield County (and now Director of the Department of Community Enhancement), pointed to the easement’s compatibility with other nearby conservation areas when confirming that the conservation easement is consistent with the county’s Comprehensive Plan’s direction to prioritize, “the county’s unique natural resources specifically along the James River to support tourism, enhance recreational opportunities, and protect water quality through public and private cooperation”. Under Virginia’s Conservation Easement Act, a conservation easement is a voluntary act by the property owner and must be compatible with the locality’s comprehensive plan.

 

The newly protected land includes 85 acres of emergent wetlands and forested or shrub wetlands according the United States Fish and Wildlife Service inventory. The easement’s terms include 100-foot buffer protections for the property’s mile of James River shoreline and 35-foot buffer protections for the wetland areas as well as the 11,000 feet of stream bank and 2,600 feet of pond border. The existing infrastructure of over two miles of paths will be available for public access and will be open to the public year round.

 

Chesterfield County Bermuda District Board of Supervisor, Dorothy A. Jaeckle noted, “River’s Bend is a great example of balancing growth and change with respect for our natural resources and our history. Private land conservation plays an important part in fulfilling our long term strategic goals for Chesterfield County along the James River for the benefit of all our citizens.”

 

In 2012, the Capital Region Collaborative identified the James River as one of seven priority areas and charged the community to celebrate the region’s most important natural resource as “a centerpiece for entertainment, recreation and commerce”. Specifically, the Collaborative made recommendations to improve public access to the river through a strategic plan.  Published in 2017, the Regional Rivers Plan outlines goals which include “a public access network throughout the region that allows people to connect to the James River in a variety of ways and that enhances and expands existing network elements”.

 

CRLC Board of Directors President, Brian Watson concluded, “We at CRLC are so proud to be a partner in conserving River’s Bend.  Like many conservation easements, this was neither a simple nor speedy process. Our dedicated staff and Board members recognized the remarkable opportunity for public benefit and connecting with other protected areas as part of a large scale scenic landscape.”

2017

Historic Powhatan County Farm Protected with Conservation Easement

Date: December 20, 2017

 

For Connie Harriss, protecting her home, “Norwood,” in Powhatan County was her duty. Her family had stewarded the property for six generations dating to 1834 when Robert Beverley Randolph (1790-1839) purchased the land and the original brick farmhouse that he greatly enlarged into the building that stands today. It is a view that is mostly frozen in time and will remain so due to the permanent protections afforded under a conservation easement recorded with Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) on December 20, 2017.

 

Norwood is one of the most stately homes in the region. The late 18th century red brick manor house, along with its dependencies and rare brick farm buildings, stands gracefully in an informally landscaped park of holly and other shade trees amidst open fields that descend to the banks of the James River. As described in the nomination form listing Norwood on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1975 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it forms “a memorable picture of rural antebellum gentility” and is one of the principal historic plantations of the Upper James region.

 

Today, the 145-acre property along Route 711 (Huguenot Trail) encompasses 112 acres of prime farmland according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs has designated Norwood as a “Century Farm” in honor of the same family residing and operating a farm there for at least 100 consecutive years.

 

The property also shares 1,500 feet of shoreline on the south bank of the James River. This portion of the James River is potentially eligible for state Scenic River designation under the plans prepared by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. A 100-foot riparian buffer area on the property along the James River will help ensure that runoff is limited and water quality is improved in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The terms of the perpetual conservation easement also incorporate viewshed protection that will allow passersby on Route 711 to enjoy the tranquil setting of Norwood.

 

The historic preservation, watershed preservation, and preservation of scenic open space provisions of the conservation easement will ensure that Norwood and the natural resources behind the lovely view will be unspoiled for generations to come.  The conservation easement allows for continued agriculture - including renovations and additions to farm structures - but forever prevents residential or commercial development.  

 

“After nearly a decade of conversations with my friend Dan Jones, Emeritus Board Member at CRLC, I am delighted that Norwood finally has the protections that my family has sought” said Connie Harriss. “My grandson who will inherit this land will mark the eighth generation of my family ownership. He will be responsible for that legacy and ensure its proper stewardship.”

 

Under Virginia’s Conservation Easement Act, a conservation easement is a voluntary act by the property owner and must be compatible with the locality’s comprehensive plan. The  2010 Powhatan  County  Comprehensive  Plan  has  a  goal  to  preserve  and  protect  the  county’s  natural and historic resources and includes Norwood on the list of important places to safeguard. The plan designates the property in “Rural Preservation” and “Natural Conservation” areas. “Norwood is a very special place and we appreciate CRLC’s work in helping the family preserve it,” said Powhatan County Manager Ted Voorhees.

 

David Williams, District 1 Supervisor, remembers “my uncle worked at Norwood for the Kennon family for many years and owned land adjacent to the farm so the property has particular meaning to me. I am certain it does for other county residents and delight in knowing it will be protected forever.”

 

CRLC’s easement includes specific provisions that apply to the manor house and other buildings and the land trust will provide ongoing stewardship with annual monitoring visits.  Ms. Harriss (and any subsequent owner) retains all rights of ownership except those expressly prohibited by the easement, primarily development and industrial or commercial uses.    

 

Assisting the landowner in drafting the conservation easement were CRLC Land Conservation Manager, Jane Myers, and Taylor Cole from Conservation Partners. Of Mrs. Myers, “she had answers to my questions and was diligent in keeping this project on track,” said Mrs. Harris. “I am grateful for her good work.”

 

“Norwood is a great example of bringing together many facets of CRLC’s mission into a single project by conserving and protecting both natural and historic land and water resources for the benefit of current and future generations,” said Parker C. Agelasto, Executive Director for the Capital Region Land Conservancy. “CRLC is honored to be part of the history of this property and serve as an additional steward.”

Land Conservation Vision Map Cultivates Regional Collaboration

DATE: November 21, 2017

               

In the Richmond region, just 2 percent of the land is permanently protected from development. Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) - Richmond’s local land trust which holds and co-holds voluntary conservation easements on both privately and publicly owned property - envisions a future of thoughtfully planned growth that includes land conservation as a compatible goal. 

 

With funding support from the Virginia Environmental Endowment, CRLC recently published a Land Conservation Vision Map for the Capital Region, a view of the nine localities in CRLC’s service area from 30,000 feet that illustrates existing conserved lands  as well as general areas identified as potentially appropriate for conservation in the Comprehensive Plan future land use maps from Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan counties plus the Town of Ashland and the City of Richmond. 

 

“The Land Conservation Vision Map will help guide CRLC’s work to educate landowners and increase the acreage of permanently protected land in our region in collaboration with our local government partners,” said Parker Agelasto, CRLC’s executive director.   

 

CRLC consulted with planning staff from each of the localities in its service area to draft the Vision Map which was facilitated by staff at the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (RRPDC) who also helped to generate new Base Maps with 2017 data.  Officials from each locality now have an individual, updated Map for their jurisdiction.  “The Vision Map reminds us that our decisions affect our neighbors and suggest areas where we can most effectively work together for the benefit of our communities”, noted Chesterfield County planner Heather Barrar. 

 

Collaborating with local governments is familiar ground for CRLC and essential to the organization’s mission.  Section 10.1 of the Virginia State Code requires that all holders of donated conservation easements certify that the terms of the easement protecting the property conform to the Comprehensive Plan for the locality in which the property is located. This legal requirement underpins CRLC’s engagement with the planning departments of each locality during the conservation easement process.   RRPDC Senior Planner Sarah Stewart commended CRLC for “appreciating the ‘big picture’ and reaching out to local governments to produce and share tools, using the most current and accurate data, that help align our mutual efforts in planning for the future of our communities.”

 

For CRLC, bringing strategic coherence to conservation efforts also dovetails with other priorities such as the Regional Rivers Plan (released earlier this year by the Capital Region Collaborative and James River Association) that incorporates goals established in the Virginia Outdoors Plan.

 

CRLC is striving to expand the amount of conserved acreage in the capital region to 5 percent by strategically focusing on conservation easements adjacent to the James River and its tributaries.  These riparian lands help to protect and improve water quality for drinking water, habitat, and recreation.  Agelasto concluded, “Supporting cross-locality communication with tools to visualize our region's future as a whole is another way we are fulfilling our mission to conserve and protect our natural and historic land and water resources for everyone who calls our wonderful region home and for all those who will in the future”. 

New Conservation Easement on Four Mile Creek

DATE: November 7, 2017

                                          

81 acres in eastern Henrico County are now permanently protected from development.  Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) facilitated the review and recordation of the conservation easement on the historically significant property in the Varina District that includes nearly a mile of stream frontage on Four Mile Creek. The Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD) co-holds the conservation easement with CRLC. This initiative represents Phase I of a multi-phase, multi-year conservation easement project that ultimately will protect 341 acres including nearly one and a quarter miles of Four Mile Creek frontage, over half a mile along Roundabout Creek, and one-tenth of a mile of land adjacent to the James River.

 

The combined acreage is adjacent to Deep Bottom Park where two boat launches provide public access for canoes/kayaks at Four Mile Creek and motorized boats at the James River.  The Virginia Capital Trail and Four Mile Creek Trailhead are within a mile of the properties. The land’s permanent protection from residential and commercial development provides a buffer for adjacent natural resources, recreational uses, and scenic views from the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail within the James River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

 

Although parts of this property are managed for timber, the portions of the property adjacent to Four Mile Creek protect a large area of high-quality bottomland hardwood forest and non-tidal marshes and wetlands providing vital protection of stream ecosystems from non-point source pollution, sedimentation, stream bank erosion, and increased temperatures.

 

“We're thrilled by the opportunity to protect these 81 acres of the James River watershed," said Nicole Anderson Ellis, Vice-Chair of the Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District.  "This easement advances our mission - to protect clean water and healthy soils - in numerous ways, including the preservation of a broad forest buffer along Four Mile Creek," notes Anderson Ellis, "We're providing a critical service to our constituents.” 

 

Portions of the property are said to have been part of “Claymount” owned by Stephen B. Sweeney (1799-1863) and included in his earthenware pottery operation with several kilns and a hotel along today’s Route 5, a Virginia scenic-byway. Other portions of the property were owned in the 1850s by Titus C. Rice and operated as Deep Bottom Landing with a ferry crossing the James River to Chesterfield County.

 

The property displays evidence of three Civil War battles - First Deep Bottom (Jul 27-29, 1864), Second Deep Bottom (Aug 13-20, 1864), and Chaffin’s Farm (Sep 29-30, 1864) when Union troops advanced on Richmond using pontoon bridges connecting to Jones Neck. The 4th United States Colored Infantry Regiment along with the Union X Corps advanced across the property to victory at New Market Heights. Terms of the conservation easement include protection of historic resources, including no ground disturbance areas around identified rifle pits and remnants of a winter hut and a strict prohibition on relic hunting.  A cemetery on the property which includes the gravesite of WWI African American veteran Paul Morris, Jr. also will be protected in perpetuity.

 

Planned trails connecting the property’s historic features and scenic views will accommodate visitor access.  Future educational and environmental interpretation will allow visitors of all ages to enjoy an enriching outdoor experience.

 

Under Virginia’s Conservation Easement Act, a conservation easement is a voluntary act of the property owner and must be compatible with the locality’s comprehensive plan. Henrico County’s 2026 Future Land Use Map designates the property as a “Prime Agriculture and Environmental Protection Area”. CRLC’s and HSWCD’s conservation easement on this property also supports the Comprehensive Plan’s Community Character and Natural, Cultural and Historic Resource objectives to “protect areas with intrinsic natural, historic, and cultural resources.”

 

Parker Agelasto, Executive Director of the Capital Region Land Conservancy, said, “It’s assuring to know that there are important places like Mr. Welch’s property yet to be conserved that offer such significant value to the community by protecting both natural and historic resources.”

 

“Working closely with CRLC and HSWCD staff,” said landowner and easement donor Randy Welch, “I have been able to meet my goals for this land and insure a future vision that reveres the property and preserves our ecology and history for the enjoyment of future generations.”

American Battlefield Protection Program Awards $1.7 Million to Support Acquisition of Malvern Hill Farm

 

DATE: July 6, 2017

 

The American Battlefield Protection Program (“ABPP”) has awarded $1,707,500 through a competitive Land and Water Conservation Fund (“LWCF”) Battlefield Land Acquisition Grant (“BLAG”) to the Capital Region Land Conservancy (“CRLC”) in support of its $6,562,000 acquisition of Malvern Hill Farm in Henrico and Charles City Counties. Administered through the National Park Service (NPS), the ABPP was initially created by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior in 1991 and signed into law by the United States Congress with adoption of the American Battlefield Protection Act in 1996. Over the past 19 years, ABPP’s Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants have helped preserve land at 101 Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 Battlefields in 19 states.

 

The ABPP “allows for the protection of significant battlefields that cannot always be preserved through public ownership. It is important that our preservation partners help to protect the battlefields in their communities in order for future generations of Americans to understand the important role the events that took place at these sites played in our nation's history.” U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said “We must preserve these battlefields for future generations of Americans to remember and understand the impact of sacrifices of those who fought on these hallowed grounds.”

 

Portions of Malvern Hill Farm are within the boundaries of four Civil War Battlefields as determined by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (“CWSAC”) that was established by the U.S. Congress in 1991 to identify the significant Civil War sites, determine their condition, assess threats to their integrity, and offer alternatives for their preservation and interpretation.. These include (i) core and study areas of the Malvern Hill Battlefield (July 1862), which has a CWSAC Preservation Priority I.1 Class A rating; (ii) core and study areas of the Glendale Battlefield (June 1862), which has a CWSAC Preservation Priority I.3 Class B rating; (iii) core and study areas of the First Deep Bottom Battlefield (July 1864), which has a CWSAC Preservation Priority II.3 Class C rating; and (iv) study area of the Second Deep Bottom Battlefield (August 1864), which has a CWSAC Preservation Priority I.3 Class B rating. ABPP’s Report to Congress on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States published in 2007 also identifies Malvern Hill one of only two sites in Virginia associated with both the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

 

In July 1781, Marquis de Lafayette along with 2,200 troops maintained a headquarters at Malvern Hill. Many historians credit Lafayette's position at Malvern Hill as preventing General Charles Cornwallis from advancing up the peninsula long enough for George Washington to arrive and force Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown in October 1781.

 

The name “Malvern Hill,” however, is more strongly associated with a climactic moment in the American Civil War when the entire property lay behind the front infantry and artillery line of the Union army during the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862. This deadly clash of armies ended with 5,650 Confederate and 3,100 Union casualties, bringing the Seven Days Battle and the Peninsula Campaign to a close and prompting President Abraham Lincoln to draft the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

“We are overjoyed to have been awarded this significant grant from the ABPP. It is the largest battlefield grant ever awarded in the Richmond region and constitutes the largest grant in the latest national funding cycle” said Parker Agelasto CRLC’s Executive Director. “LWCF programs have contributed greatly to the protection of America’s natural and historic resources. CRLC is honored to be a recipient. It’s essential that these funds are available to support projects such as Malvern Hill.”

 

As part of the grant agreement, the ABPP funding requires CRLC to record a conservation easement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) on roughly 440 acres of the 871± acre Malvern Hill Farm. The remaining portion of the property, roughly 420 acres, not going under DHR easement is being set aside for future inclusion in NPS’s Richmond National Battlefield Park as previously approved by the United States Congress, and 13 acres will be under an easement held by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation where the James River Association will build a public access canoe/kayak launch into Turkey Island Creek.

 

“Preserving a tract of this size illustrates the power of collaboration. Without a shared vision among multiple partners and a willingness to commit when the opportunity presented itself, this ambitious acquisition would not be possible,” stated Julie Langan, Director of the Department of Historic Resources. “DHR couldn’t be more pleased to participate both as a funder and as a long-term partner in the perpetual stewardship of this extremely significant property.”

 

The ABPP grant raises the funding secured by CRLC to more than $4.3 million towards this important acquisition. This includes $687,500 from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF), $400,000 from the Virginia Battlefields Preservation Fund (VBPF), $100,000 from the Open Space Land Preservation Trust Fund, $60,000 from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, $25,000 from an anonymous donor, $500,000 as a two-to-one challenge grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, and $500,000 as a two-to-one challenge grant from the Cabell Foundation. The Conservation Fund has also approved financing a bridge loan for the project. Closing is set for early October 2017. CRLC is actively applying for other grants and seeking private donations to support this important acquisition.

 

The consortium of organizations assisting CRLC in the acquisition of Malvern Hill Farm include American Civil War Museum, Chesapeake Conservancy, Civil War Trust, James River Association, Richmond Battlefields Association, Richmond National Battlefield Park, The Conservation Fund, Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and Virginia Outdoors Foundation. Donations to support the acquisition of Malvern Hill Farm and contribute toward the challenge grants should be made payable to the Capital Region Land Conservancy and mailed to P.O. Box 17306, Richmond VA 23226.

New Conservation Easement creates

6-acre wooded buffer to Joseph Bryan Park in Henrico County

 

DATE: April 21, 2017

 

Five years ago, members of the Friends of Bryan Park (FOBP) were facing the seeming inevitability of development of the Shirley subdivision in Henrico County adjacent to the forested section of the park near the Nature Center and Environmental Education Area. In 1924, the land had been divided into fourteen lots as part of the Shirley subdivision, but had remained mostly undisturbed through the decades.  Suddenly, in 2012, a development proposal intended to build 40 modular houses on roughly 6.5 acres, clear-cutting the forest there and creating a dense neighborhood tucked into a dead end.  John and Bucci Zeugner, and many members of Friends of Bryan Park were determined to change the property’s fate. Today their vision became a reality with the recording of a conservation easement on the land they bought to permanently protect.

 

The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) and the Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District (HSWCD) co-hold the easement. CRLC will provide ongoing stewardship with annual monitoring visits.  Mr. and Mrs. Zeugner, as the property’s owners, retain all rights of ownership except those expressly prohibited by the easement, primarily residential development and industrial or commercial uses.  

”Easements in urban and suburban areas are uniquely challenging and the Zeugners have dedicated years of effort to creating this legacy.  Their determination to protect a treasured City Park and actually add to it is an inspiration,” said CRLC Land Conservation Manager Jane Myers. 

 

Under Virginia’s Conservation Easement Act, a conservation easement is a voluntary act of the property owner and must be compatible with the locality’s comprehensive plan. Henrico County’s 2026 Comprehensive Plan lists as an objective the identification and protection of “areas with intrinsic natural, historical, or cultural resources” and encourages “protection of natural and historic resources by the private sector.” It also “encourages the preservation of private open space by supporting the use of conservation and open space easements.”

 

The 6.5 acres of undeveloped land, now permanently protected by a conservation easement, drains into Upham Brook, a tributary of the Chickahominy River listed as “impaired” by Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality. “Maintaining the stands of mature, mixed hardwood trees and understory can only help Upham Brook,” noted HSWCD director Nicole Anderson-Ellis.  “Nothing is better for water quality than forested buffers around our streams.” 

 

The 6.5-acre parcel  also provides a 600-foot wide buffer zone along a 500-foot long portion of the northwestern boundary of Joseph Bryan Park which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This important forested buffer sustains habitat for the park's existing wildlife populations without the threat of encroachment.

 

Since 1994, Friends of Bryan Park has been committed to the preservation and improvement of Joseph Bryan Park for use as a public park for all citizens. Belle Stewart Bryan and her sons purchased the 262-acre “Rosewood” farm and donated it to the City of Richmond as a memorial park to her late husband. Reflecting the “City Beautiful” movement and the “rustic aesthetic” of the National Park Service, Joseph Bryan Park established “a naturalistic landscape that afforded visitors a retreat from the City.” (City Annual Report, 1918).

 

Parker Agelasto, Executive Director of the Capital Region Land Conservancy said, “In the spirit of Belle Bryan, the Zeugners’ efforts demonstrate that conservation easements, today, aren’t just for large farms and forests in rural areas. They are also a valuable tool for conserving natural resources on private property in urban and suburban areas. They can connect to rivers and streams, parks and valuable open-space, and expand access and protection to wilderness and habitat conservation areas.”

CRLC RECEIVES $15,000 GRANT FROM VIRGINIA ENVIRONMENTAL ENDOWMENT 

  

Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) has been awarded $15,000 in support of its “Protecting our Beloved James River” project through a competitive grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment. The grant will provide support for measurable and innovative initiatives focused on improving local rivers and water quality, land conservation and sustainable land use practices, and environmental literacy and public awareness.  CRLC was one of 13 organizations to receive funding through the Endowment’s most recent grant cycle.  
 
Funding for “Protecting our Beloved James River” allows Capital Region Land Conservancy to provide stakeholder education by working with local government and private property owners on a vision map. The grant also supports the facilitation of the process to place voluntary conservation easements on parcels immediately adjacent to the James River. Of the 1,484 parcels in the project area, only 34 parcels covering 5,922 acres are currently protected in perpetuity. 
 
“VEE is pleased to partner with the Capital Region Land Conservancy in its efforts to protect the James River, one of Virginia’s most treasured natural assets,” said Joseph Maroon, Executive Director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment. “CRLC’s focus on generating more voluntary conservation easements will help protect water quality, recreation opportunities, and the river’s landscape and  vistas for countless generations to come.” 
 
In 2012, Richmond was named "Best River Town in America" and the Capital Region Collaborative identified the James River as one of seven priority areas that will enhance the quality of life for everyone in the region. Envision the James has identified land conservation as one of the most important initiatives to protect this regional asset. Adding additional acreage under conservation easement will also help to ensure that our region satisfies the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements under the U.S. Clean Water Act.  
 
“The James River is such a defining feature of RVA and is a vital asset to our region that we must ensure its long-term benefit for future generations” said CRLC’s Executive Director Parker Agelasto. “Preserving adjacent lands will allow for its natural beauty to inspire and improve water quality by protecting natural filtration for run-off.” 

 
“For 10 years, CRLC has been working to protect lands in the Richmond area with great success at improving public access to the river including the James River Park System in the City of Richmond, Brown & Williamson Conservation Area and James River Conservation Area in Chesterfield County” said CRLC President Bill Greenleaf.  “We are honored to have the opportunity to continue our partnership with the Virginia Environmental Endowment and expand this effort.” 

2016

Malvern Hill Farm and site of Civil War battle Under Contract, $2 Million in Funding Commitments Secured

 

To further its mission to protect the natural and historic land and water resources of Virginia’s Capital Region for the benefit of current and future generations, the Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) has entered into a contract to purchase Malvern Hill Farm for the appraised value of $6,562,000. The property consists of 875 +/- acres in Henrico County and Charles City County and is owned by descendants of William Heighler Ferguson Sr. (1885-1984) who originally purchased Malvern Hill Farm in 1939.

 

The Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places first listed Malvern Hill in 1969, recognizing its role in Virginia and United States history dating to the late 17th Century. Thomas Cocke (1639-1697) built the first Anglo-American residence there about 1690 and the architecturally significant ruins are well preserved today. The Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) encamped on the property in the summer of 1781 and the Virginia Militia also made camp there during the War of 1812.

 

But the name “Malvern Hill” is more strongly associated with a climactic moment in the American Civil War when the entire property lay behind the front infantry line of the Union army during the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862. This deadly clash of armies ended with 5,650 Confederate and 2,100 Union casualties, bringing the Seven Days Battle and the Peninsula Campaign to a close and prompting President Abraham Lincoln to draft the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

According to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Malvern Hill Farm ranks as “very high” in its vulnerability model. In 1993, the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission listed Malvern Hill in the Top 10 of Virginia’s battlefields that are highly threatened. Despite its proximity to downtown Richmond and development pressures in the Varina district of Henrico County, the property has remained mostly unaltered in appearance since 1862.

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s soil maps show Malvern Hill Farm contains nearly 400 acres of prime farmland and more than 150 acres of “farmland of statewide significance.” Coupled with the “very high” ranking on Virginia’s Forest Economics Model as well as DCR’s evaluation of Ecological Cores and habitats of endangered species, the property is a priority for land conservation.

 

The National Park Service (NPS) has long sought portions of Malvern Hill Farm for inclusion in the Richmond National Battlefield Park. The United States Congress has approved roughly 443 acres in its legislatively authorized boundary for the park. “Acquisition and preservation of this farm would be a critical step forward in ensuring the long term integrity of such an historic place” noted David Ruth, Superintendent of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. DCR specifically names Malvern Hill in its Virginia Outdoors Plan for provision of public access with walking and biking trails and a Turkey Island Creek canoe/kayak launch to reach the James River, the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail and the Presquile National Wildlife Refuge. Likewise, nearly 2 miles of the Virginia Capital Trail along scenic Route 5 passes by and/or traverses Malvern Hill Farm.  

 

The Capital Region Land Conservancy has secured more than $2 million in funding towards this important acquisition. This includes $687,500 from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation (VLCF), $400,000 from the Virginia Battlefields Preservation Fund (VBPF), $500,000 as a two-to-one challenge grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, and $500,000 as a two-to-one challenge grant from the Cabell Foundation. CRLC is actively applying for other grants and seeking private donations to support this important acquisition. The Conservation Fund is also considering financing for the project.

 

In September, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the awarding of the VLCF grant to CRLC citing the Malvern Hill project’s protection of “Virginia’s biodiversity, history and way of life while enhancing public access to our natural resources.”

 

Director of Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources, Julie V. Langan, awarded the VBPF grant in November and commended CRLC for its “dedication and commitment to protecting important Civil War Battlefields for the future of Virginia and the nation.”

 

“In one transaction CRLC is taking a giant step in protecting the natural and historic land and water resources of our region” said Parker C. Agelasto, Executive Director of Capital Region Land Conservancy. “Malvern Hill Farm represents a significant opportunity to conserve prime farmland, native forests, nearly three miles of perennial streams, and more than 325 years of history while also opening the property to public access for outdoor recreation. I am delighted that CRLC could be the champion to lead a multifaceted effort to permanently protect this property forever.”

 

"The tremendous national, state, and local support for this purchase validates Malvern Hill's worth, not as real estate, but as a treasured place in our history and in our present day lives", said CRLC founder and Board president Bill Greenleaf.

 

Brian Watson, CRLC’s Vice President, said "we are excited to continue to lead conservation efforts in our area and be able to protect this historically significant property for generations to come."

 

The consortium of organizations assisting CRLC in the acquisition of Malvern Hill Farm include American Civil War Museum Foundation, Chesapeake Conservancy, Civil War Trust, James River Association, Richmond Battlefields Association, Richmond National Battlefield Park, and Virginia Capital Trail Foundation. Donations to support the acquisition of Malvern Hill Farm and contribute toward the challenge grants should be made payable to the Capital Region Land Conservancy and mailed to P.O. Box 17306, Richmond VA 23226.

Two New Conservation Easements Protect Important View of James River and Provide Added Buffer to City of Richmond's James River Park

 

For the past 25 years, private property owners Mark and Donna Romer and Dorothy Cleal had an agreement that they would not develop their adjoining properties without consulting each other. Late last month, they took the ultimate act to formalize this agreement in perpetuity by recording conservation easements on their parcels at 5513 and 5517 Riverside Drive respectively.  
 
Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) facilitated the review and recordation of these two conservation easements covering 1.4 acres for the purpose of protecting the watershed and scenic views of the James River from the scenic byway Riverside Drive and the view of the surrounding landscape from the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. In addition, these properties adjoin the James River Park System and portions of the park that the City of Richmond protected by a conservation easement in 2009. They thus provide a further buffer for the natural resources and recreational uses protected there. 
 
Under Virginia’s Conservation Easement Act, a conservation easement is a voluntary act of the property owner and must be compatible with the locality’s comprehensive plan. The City’s Master Plan recommends that “the recreational, aesthetic, and environmental attributes of the James River be protected and enhanced in a way consistent with its role as a unique urban waterway.”  
 
“The corridor along the James River is a special place and it feels good to preserve a piece of it. I would like to thank the CRLC for helping us sort through the details of how to do this,” said Mark Romer. 
 
"Sharing similar goals, we were able to work as a team to not only donate the conservation easement but to make sure our neighbors and visitors would always be able to enjoy this very special view of the James River,” said Dorothy Cleal. 
 
Parker Agelasto, Executive Director of the Capital Region Land Conservancy said “the Romer and Cleal easements are unique examples of land conservation in an urban environment where development pressures threaten important viewsheds and encroach on existing protected lands.”   
 
”Working with the Romers and Mrs. Cleal has been a real pleasure,” said Jane Myers, Land Conservation Manager of CRLC. “Their love and appreciation of this iconic view of the City of Richmond which is shared by all who travel Riverside Drive is what drove the process making it very easy for all of us.”  
 
CRLC President Bill Greenleaf “We are delighted to help these two landowners protect an incredible viewshed of the James River for those on the river and those who travel along Riverside drive.” 

CRLC IS HIRING PART-TIME STAFF POSITION 

 

Part-time Staff Position – Land Stewardship and Outreach Specialist

(Jan thru Dec 2017; 15-20 hours per week; $20-25 per hour)

 

Capital Region Land Conservancy is seeking a part-time Land Stewardship and Outreach Specialist to assist with its efforts to coordinate with land owners in the Richmond Region. The individual will be well organized and able to manage projects with short- and long- lead schedules. The individual must have experience as a project manager, copywriting and editing, as well as have excellent communication (oral and written) and presentation skills. The individual shall be self-motivated and able to work independently.

 

In addition to drafting newsletters and mailings, the Land Stewardship and Outreach Specialist will maintain county mailing lists for landowners and coordinate with partner organizations to host events throughout the area. The individual will also assist with the maintenance of stewardship files.

 

Requirements: Working knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.), Adobe Illustrator, web design and online content production.            

 

Send resume and cover letter to Parker Agelasto at PO Box 17306, Richmond VA 23226 or executivedirector@capitalregionland.org. Applications must be received before January 13.  

CRLC RECEIVES $25,000 Gift FROM DOMINION RESOURCS

 

Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC) has been awarded $25,000 through a competitive grant from the Dominion Foundation, the charitable arm of Dominion Resources. Each year Dominion awards up to $1 million through the foundation’s Environmental Stewardship Grants Program for initiatives that focus on specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment. CRLC’s project, “Protecting our Beloved James River,” was one of 67 projects from nonprofit organizations in 12 states to receive funding through the program in 2016.

 

Funding for “Protecting our Beloved James River” allows Capital Region Land Conservancy to provide stakeholder education by working with local government and private property owners on a vision map. The grant also supports the facilitation of the process to place voluntary conservation easements on parcels immediately adjacent to the James River. Of the 1,484 parcels in the project area, only 34 parcels covering 5,922 acres are currently protected in perpetuity.

 

“It’s very rewarding to support the efforts of the Capital Region Land Conservancy to protect and conserve the regional jewel that is the James River for future generations,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “Their efforts align well with our mission to conserve and promote the health and beauty of the environment in the places we call home.”

 

In 2012, Richmond was named "Best River Town in America" and the Capital Region Collaborative identified the James River as one of seven priority areas that will enhance the quality of life for everyone in the region. Envision the James has identified land conservation as one of the most important initiatives to protect this regional asset. Adding additional acreage under conservation easement will also help to ensure that our region satisfies the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements under the U.S. Clean Water Act.

 

“The James River is such a defining feature of RVA and is a vital asset to our region that we must ensure its long-term benefit for future generations” said CRLC’s Executive Director Parker Agelasto. “Preserving adjacent lands will allow for its natural beauty to inspire and improve water quality by protecting natural filtration for run-off.”

 

“For 10 years, CRLC has been working to protect lands in the Richmond area with great success at improving public access to the river including the James River Park System in the City of Richmond, Brown & Williamson Conservation Area and James River Conservation Area in Chesterfield County” said CRLC President Bill Greenleaf.  “We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with Dominion and expand this effort to into Charles City, Goochland, Henrico, and Powhatan counties.”

New Century Farms recognized by Gov. Terry McAuliffe  

            

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently hosted families from the Richmond region for a reception at the Executive Mansion during which he recognized twelve new Century Farms including ten from Powhatan County. Also at the event, Gov. McAuliffe signed legislation passed during the 2016 General Assembly creating a Century Forest Program similar to the farm program.

 

The Virginia Century Farm program recognizes and honors farms that have been in operation for at least 100 consecutive years and the generations of Virginia farm families whose diligent and dedicated efforts have maintained those farms. Prior to the event, the Richmond region included 51 Century Farm designated properties. Efforts leading up to the event increased this number by more than 24%. Five more applicants submitted after.

 

Those farm families recognized by Governor McAuliffe include  from Powhatan County - John Amos (Midway Farm), Doug Brush and Evelyn Saunders (Blenheim Farm), Robert and James Cosby (Oakview Farm), Wilson DeNoon (Trenholm Farm), Constance K. Harriss (Norwood Farm), Ernie Hobson (Eagle Nest Farm), Gene and Shirley Moyer (Edgehill Farm), Myrtle Moore Osborne (Moore Farm), Tim and Anne Timberlake (Blenheim Springs / Oaksprings Farm), and Kenny Weisiger (Pineview Farm), from Goochland County – Ronald and Cheryl Nuckols (Overhome Farm), and from Hanover County – Natalie Schermerhorn (Hill Brook Farm).

 

“I congratulate the newly designated Century Farms that the Governor, First Lady and I were able to recognize at the Executive Mansion,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “These long-standing farm families, as well as the 1,352 other Century Farm families across Virginia, all share a common bond – the proud and enduring tradition of agriculture, the Commonwealth’s largest private industry.   Agriculture, from these family farms to value-added processing and manufacturing, is a key component of the Governor’s call to build a new Virginia economy.  I look forward to seeing more farms garner the Century Farm designation and help grow our economy even further.”

 

“These farms have attained a milestone for agriculture and set the standard for preservation of rural heritage in Powhatan,” said Powhatan County Farm Bureau President Max Timberlake. “These farm families are a real inspiration to Powhatan’s agricultural community.”

 

Capital Region Land Conservancy Executive Director Parker Agelasto said “The Century Farm Program is a wonderful way to honor the legacy of resilient families that have worked the land for many generations. Conservation easements are tools that these property owners can use to plan for future generations to contribute and carry on their history by preserving the land for agricultural or forestry uses.”

 

The event would not have been possible without support and contributions from Secretary Haymore, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Forestry Association, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, and Capital Region Land Conservancy.

 

For more information on Virginia’s Century Farm program, visit vdacs.virginia.gov/conservation-and-environmental-virginia-century-farms.shtml or contact Andy Sorrell, Program Coordinator, at 804-786-1906.  

US Congress strongly supports Land Conservation

 

On December 18, the US Senate voted 65-33 to pass the bill that will make the federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations permanent. This follows the House of Representatives 318-109 vote on December 17. This bipartisan action represents a huge win for conservation, for landowners and for the land trust community. Once signed into law the incentive will be applied retroactively to start Jan. 1, 2015. The full language of these permanent incentives can be found in Section § 170(b)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 under “qualified conservation contributions” made by individuals.

 

Congress also reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund for three years and increased its funding from $306 million last year to $450 million this year. This follows the omnibus bill that authorized more than $10 million to support land conservation activities for Rivers of the Chesapeake.

 

Both legislative items are important to Capital Region Land Conservancy's ability to protect and conserve the natural and historic resources of the Richmond area. We are thrilled that both initiatives passed by a 2/3 majority.

 

You can also ensure land conservation in the Richmond region by supporting your local land trust, Capital Region Land Conservancy. CRLC has many exciting plans to expand our efforts in 2016 but need your financial investment to build capacity to reach these ambitious goals. Please consider making a contribution today.

2015

Lunch and Learn: Land & Farm Conservation Resources for Landowners 

 

RICHMOND, VA: The Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC), Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service invite the public to attend a “Lunch and Learn” program on Friday, January 29, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, at the Powhatan Rescue Squad (3920 Marion Harland Lane, Powhatan VA 23139). This event brings together a number of organizations that help landowners steward and protect their land, forests and working farms through voluntary programs such as conservation easements and cost-share programs. Representatives will be available from the Capital Region Land Conservancy, Colonial Farm Credit, Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District, US Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Farm Bureau, and Virginia Outdoor Foundation.

 

“Lunch and Learn” will feature presentations on such topics as easements and associated tax benefits, cost-share conservation opportunities, planning for farm succession, and updates on legislation and events from Farm Bureau. Lunch is being provided courtesy of Colonial Farm Credit.

 

Registration is required. Fee is $5 by check made payable to the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District and may be mailed to P.O. Box 66 Goochland, VA 23063 or delivered to Monacan SWCD at 3064 River Road West in Goochland. Register by January 22 by calling (804) 556-4936. Inclement weather date is Friday, February 5.

 

For those interested in learning more specifically about conservation easements and reasons to consider  an easement on their property, what the steps are in the process, and potential benefits, CRLC is also hosting two additional workshops: one on Tuesday, February 16, beginning at 6:00pm in the Luck Stone Headquarters at 515 Stone Mill Drive, Manakin-Sabot VA 23103; the second on Tuesday, February 23, beginning at 6:00pm in the Chesterfield County Ettrick-Matoaca Public Library at 4501 River Road, South Chesterfield, VA 23803. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jane Myers at (804)745-3110 or jane@capitalregionland.org.

CRLC Announces New Executive Director  

 

The Capital Region Land Conservancy Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Parker C. Agelasto as Executive Director effective September 20. The Board recognizes that Agelasto is a community leader with non-profit management experience who can advance the mission of CRLC and grow capacity to better serve the region’s needs to protect and conserve its natural and historic resources.

 

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, CRLC has facilitated the protection of over 6,800 acres of property and co-holds 9 conservation easements with more than 1,200 acres. These include the 280-acre James River Park in the City of Richmond and over 100 acres in Chesterfield County for the use as the future Atkins Acres Community Park.  CRLC service area includes roughly 1.3 million acres of which 16,500 of privately owned land are currently protected.

 

Land conservation benefits the region’s water quality by providing natural filters for surface and groundwater sources and works to lower the cost of water treatment plants.  CRLC has therefore launched the “Our Land and Water” project to develop a strategic conservation plan to protect the Middle James River Watershed with a focus in Goochland and Powhatan Counties.

 

“CRLC is excited to have hired Parker Agelasto,” said Bill Greenleaf, President. “He shares our vision to develop a regional strategic plan that addresses the need to be better stewards of our land and water resources for current and future generations.”

 

Agelasto says of his new position, “For the past decade CRLC has been steadfast in promoting the importance of land conservation in the Richmond region. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead CRLC as it moves into its next decade,  implementing  its new strategic plan, continuing to engage our communities and fostering collaborative partnerships, and growing CRLC's membership and fundraising efforts.”

 

CRLC will host its Tenth Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, October 25, from 4:00 to 6:30 pm at Tuckahoe Plantation (12601 River Road in Goochland, VA). There is a $25 suggested donation to attend.

 

Parker C. Agelasto received his undergraduate education from Bates College and masters degrees from the University of Virginia. He currently serves on Richmond City Council.

2014

Conservation Organizations Merge to Better Protect Richmond Region’s Natural Resources

 

RICHMOND, VA: The Friends of Chesterfield’s Riverfront (FoCR) has merged with Capital Region Land Conservancy (CRLC), which will carry on the work of both organizations by stewarding the lands previously protected by FoCR.

 

The Boards of Directors of the two organizations recognized the enhanced impact a stronger, more sustainable land trust could have for our region. Initial discussions about a merger began in late 2013. Legal due diligence was conducted in early 2014 and the merger decision was formally made in late March, 2014. There was overwhelming support for combining the organizations as the leadership of both organizations unanimously voted to form a combined nonprofit organization. Troutman Sanders LLP provided pro bono legal services for due diligence and document preparation for the merger.

 

“Combining complementary resources and strategically addressing conservation challenges as one organization ensures that their shared goals can be achieved,” said FoCR Director, Mark Endries. “The merger makes sure that with the Capital Region Land Conservancy, one local land trust grows and thrives in Chesterfield as well as the larger Richmond Region - maintaining a strong, unified and visible presence working for the conservation of our lands and waters.”

As part of the merger, conservation easements held by FoCR will be assigned to CRLC. The restrictions, land use limitations, and reserved rights listed in each easement will remain unchanged. Lands under stewardship of both organizations will remain protected in perpetuity. FoCR co-held two conservation easements: Brown & Williamson Conservation Area and Little Rivers Bend, totaling over 280 acres. CRLC currently co-holds six conservation easements around the region; following the merger, it surpasses the 1,000-acre stewardship mark and now co-holds over 1,200 acres.

 

“We expect the combined organization will be able to do even more conservation and stewardship … and do them better,” said CRLC Executive Director, Tara Quinn. “This combined strength promises to create an unprecedented force to accomplish our mission to conserve and protect our region’s land and water resources.”

Henrico Gets New Tool for Saving Small Farms as

Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District signs first Conservation Easement

 

For nearly a decade, 4th-generation Varina landowner Virginia Lipford has been seeking help protecting her nearly 10 acre family farm with a conservation easement. In November, that dream finally came true. Thanks to a new partnership between the Capital Region Land Conservancy and the Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District to co-hold conservation easements, small-acreage land owners now have the chance to preserve their properties as well.

 

Most conservation easements in Virginia involve properties with 75 acres or more, but this partnership means people in Henrico County seeking to preserve a 50 acre farm, or 25 acres of forest, or 10, have equal access to this opportunity.

SUNDAY, OCT. 20TH

Tuckahoe Plantation

Fields, Forests, & Streams - CRLC's annual fundraising event

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